Pre-pandemic, Unity performed at a wide variety of events each year. In September 2021 we will return to in-person rehearsals for the first time in 17 months, so we aren't planning any performances for a little while until we get settled back in.
We like to keep a nice balance between having a goal to work towards whilst not filling our diaries too full. The social side of Unity is really important to us so our performances often involve a family day out or a celebration meal afterwards at a local pub. Each term we usually have one performance in a concert or formal setting and one performance at an event in our local community. However, no two terms are the same, we don't stick to the same pattern and like to mix things up by finding new opportunities to share our music.
Over the years, this has seen us perform at village halls, family picnics & community carnivals. We've sung carols in Durham Market Place and held a Summer Gala for 100 of our friends & family. 2019 started on a high when we performed as part of Durham Vocal Festival in the spectacular setting of Durham Cathedral. We then went on to perform at Durham's Gala Theatre as part of Durham Big Sing in May. Then finished 2019 in style with our Pop Decades themed performance in full fancy dress!
November 2019 | Glebe Centre, Murton
Unity Choir were never going to pass up the opportunity to polish up our Gogo Boots, dust off our flares and dig out our shoulder pads for Pop Decades, an uplifting evening of pop hits from the 60s, 70s & 80s! This family friendly gig at the Glebe Centre had our audience singing along and strutting their stuff on the dance floor!.
We were joined by Durham Female Voices and other friends joining our special Pop-Up Choir, and the evening was filled with retro classics made famous by the likes of The Beatles, Abba, a host of Motown Legends & 80s pop superstars.
Durham Big Sing
May 2019 | Gala Theatre, Durham
Unity have never been more proud than when we got to host Durham Big Sing, organised by The Singing Elf in May 2019 at Durham's Gala Theatre. This huge event brought together 400 singers from across the North East to celebrate community singing in it's widest form. The full day event included workshops and performances with 20 choirs taking part. Unity were honoured to close the event, singing 'True Colours' live on stage. Watch our video to see more about this incredible day!
Durham Vocal Festival - Celebration of Community Choirs Concert 2019
January 2019 | Durham Cathedral
At the start 2019, Unity were honoured to take part in the Community Choir Celebration Concert as part of Durham Vocal Festival, in the magnificent setting of Durham Cathedral. Five other choirs from across County Durham each took their turn to perform, before joining together to sing 3 massed pieces with 200 voices. Unity performed an African round and a beautiful arrangement of ‘True Colours’ using sign language to depict the lyrics of 80s classic.
When we first heard of the opportunity, we were quite overwhelmed at the prospect of singing at a world heritage site, but simply couldn’t pass it up. We worked hard to learn our pieces in just 4 weeks and we were delighted with our final performance. It was a true privilege to hear our voices ring out in such amazing acoustics and despite our nerves, we thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.
As part of the project we rehearsed with Neville’s Cross Community Choir and loved getting to meet other singers. We also took inspiration from our trip to see the fantastic Full Score Barbershop Choir and award winning a cappella group Northern Lights from Durham University, who gave an outstanding performance at the Gala Theatre as part of the festival.
Unity Christmas Concert
December 2018 | St.Mary's Church West Rainton
Unity held our 2018 Christmas Concert at St. Mary's Church in West Rainton. It was a family-friendly evening of uplifting singing. Heart-warming performances of both traditional & contemporary pieces were woven together by a humorous script inspired by festive traditions from around the world. The audience were invited to join in with candlelit carols and festive songs before enjoying a feast of seasonal refreshments to end the night.
Unity Summer Gala Night
'Songs from the Shows'
July 2018 | The Hetton Centre
To celebrate the end of Unity's first year, we invited 100 friends & family to put on their glad rags and join us for a night out with a difference! The £17.50 ticket included a glass of prosecco on arrival, a two course meal, Unity’s raise the roof 'Songs from the Shows' performance & after dinner entertainment. It was the hottest day of the year and even though the function room felt like a sauna, it was a spectacular evening!
Unity performed songs from the shows from both stage & screen with old favourites alongside newer pieces from musicals including The Lion King, The Sound of Music, Sister Act, 9 to 5, Dear Evan Hansen and of course, The Greatest Showman. Alongside the full choir pieces, 12 singers also chose to perform solos adding variety and humour to the show. The evening ended with The Singing Elf & friends transforming into 'Deloris & the Unitettes'. Guests danced away as they performed a lively set of Motown classics inspired by the film Sister Act.
Unity on Tour - 2018
Unity take part in a wide variety of events in our local community. Here are some examples of our 'on tour' performances from 2018
West Rainton Big Lunch | June 2018
Lots of our singers live in the village so we we went along to join in with the Big Lunch on a grey day in June. We enjoyed performing to families as they had their picnics & even got a chance to meet some birds of prey!
Hetton Community Carnival | June 2018
We attended Hetton Carnival on the most glorious blue sky day of the year - it was extremely hot & we loved performing in the sun as this is such a rare event in the North East! Hetton Lyons Park was filled with thousands of people enjoying the stalls, activities and fairground rides and it was a real highlight of our summer.
Busking in Durham Market Place | December 2018
When voting for our seasonal programme, Unity were very keen to 'sing around a Christmas tree' which is exactly what we did in the festive setting of Durham Market Place. We thoroughly enjoyed singing carols and daft Christmas songs complimented by our festive hats and jumpers. Many passers by joined in with old favourites like 'When Santa Got Stuck Up the Chimney' and 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer' and it was particularly lovely to see both young & old join in with the actions! After braving the cold we retreated to the Gala Theatre for hot drinks and delicious cakes to complete our busking experience.